What Kind of American Will They Ask Next?

The OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano, one of my favorite writers, is hanging up his nationally syndicated alt-weekly column "Ask a Mexican" after years of explaining to baffled and/or angry gringos why brown folk wear pants to the beach, sell oranges on freeway off-ramps, and hate on the Guatemalans. From his assimilationist adios:

[L]ike Mr. Dooley, Olle I Skratthult and The Katzenjammer Kids before me, this column's time has come: It's no longer necessary to explain Mexicans to Americans because Mexicans are Americans. Gracias for all the fights, the propositions of sexytime explosion, and the slugged-back tequila shots after book signings, but there's a little ranchito in Zacatecas waiting for me and a barefoot muchacha ready to cook me dinner. Vaya con Dios, America, and always remember: Order the enchilada-and-taco combo TO GO.

The punchline, though, goes to my vigilant anti-Reconquista pals at the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, whose subject header on its e-mail alarm was: "Gus Arellano Claims Mexicans ARE Americans and Then Retires!"

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  • ||

    So, does CCIR have any recommendations for where to get a good burrito in San Diego?

  • Taktix®||

    This is why Fox News will never have a funny alternative to the Daily Show (which, I assume, is what Red Eye and the now defunct Half-hour News Hour are supposed to be).

    Ideologues and humor are as compatible as U.S. soldiers and IED's...

  • highnumber||

    So why do Mexicans wear pants to the beach?

  • ||

    Lonewacko in 5...4...3...2..

  • ||

    This is why Fox News will never have a funny alternative to the Daily Show (which, I assume, is what Red Eye and the now defunct Half-hour News Hour are supposed to be).

    Ideologues and humor are as compatible as U.S. soldiers and IED's...


    THAT's why Fox News will never have a funny alternative to the Daily Show?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Have to say, I'm sorry to see him go. I'm going to miss that guy.

    where to get a good burrito in San Diego?

    Fish Tacos. San Diego is known for Fish Tacos. Used to be about the only place you could get them.

    Boy, it has been a while.....I can picture several places......seeing a dumpy stand two blocks in from Ocean Beach......There's a bunch of places in Hillcrest and over by SD State.

    Old Town, it's touristy, but Bandini's used to have really good food. Yes, the fertilizer people. Worth eating there just to take in the hacienda that dates to the presidia.

  • the fez||

    This is why Fox News will never have a funny alternative to the Daily Show (which, I assume, is what Red Eye and the now defunct Half-hour News Hour are supposed to be).

    Ideologues and humor are as compatible as U.S. soldiers and IED's...


    Jon Stewart's lefty bias has grown tiresome, and Red Eye is pretty funny and unique. In fact, it's much less ideologically based than the Daily Show.

  • Episiarch||

    This is why Fox News will never have a funny alternative to the Daily Show

    Maybe you should replace "Daily Show" with "Colbert Report". The Daily Show isn't funny.

  • ||

    The OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano, one of my favorite writers, is hanging up his nationally syndicated alt-weekly column "Ask a Mexican"

    That's a shame. I liked it.

  • ||

    Seriously, why do they wear pants to the beach?

  • drawnasunder||

    How about a link to the pants-at-the-beach article?

    Also, what is the significance of the high-pitched, sing-songy "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaahaahaa" cry I occasionally hear? It's not just in cartoons. The guy in the car next to me made it while we were stuck in LA traffic... Is it an all purpose expression, or always one of desperation?

  • ||

    "Seriously, why do they wear pants to the beach?"

    Because they dont have swimming trunks?

    My dad used to wear jeans to the beach because he was milk white and didnt want to burn- he can only have two skin tones: burn red or pasty white- the poor guy cannot tan. Of course, this was the explanation he gave me when I was a child. I couldnt figure out why not just sit under a palm tree and wear sunblock?
    Thank goodness I got my mother's coloring.

  • ||

    Have you never heard of Google" The top result for ["ask a mexican" pants beach] is right here.

  • ||

    And here's the short version, for the link-clicking impaired and those who do not have a personal relationship with Google (IOW Google is not your friend).

    Mexican men don't need shorts. Half-pants are for wussy gabachos who can't take the heat or chicas calientes looking to draw wolf whistles.

  • Russ 2000||

    I couldnt figure out why not just sit under a palm tree and wear sunblock?

    Being of the same persuasion as your dad, when the choice is between a sunburn or covering one's self in checmical slime, I'll take the pants option.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    My father is 80 and he never, ever wore shorts anywhere.

    I asked him about it recently and he told me that when he was a small boy, boys still wore short pants (knickers) and it was a sign that you had become grown up when you were allowed to wear long pants like the men.

    He said he never quite got past that taint and never felt comfortable in shorts.

  • Kolohe||

    And per mo's link, the question implies that shorts actually *are* worn to the beach, but few other places.

    Strangely, he admitted that he owns no shorts other than the ones he wears when he goes swimming or scuba diving.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I get all my politically-correct information about Mexican culture from Latino USA on PBS radio. Nobody, but nobody, can match Maria Hinojosa's enunciation of the word "Latino".

  • ||

    Wine Commonsewer ... huh-uh-uh-uh-huh ... you said "taint."

    So why do they all park on the lawn?

  • Mark||

    I don't think "Ask a Mexican" is going anywhere. It's an April Fool's Day joke. Note he says his departure is "effective the feast day of St. Melito".... which happens to be April 1...

  • highnumber||

    Mo and Not Mo,

    I searched the archives at Mr Welch's link and found nothing. Didn't think about the question long enough to consider further searching.
    Anyway, he doesn't answer. TWC offers a plausible answer.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Why do Mexicans make April Fools jokes on March 28th?

  • ||

    Russ2000,
    Heh. Sounds like something my dad would say! Thanks.

    "So why do they all park on the lawn?"

    I'm not sure about parking on the lawn (that may be the result of coming home really drunk and not measuring well the space between the curb and the lawn) but most times I see cars on lawns is because the car needs to be fixed, and they figure why can't their lawn be their car shop. Afterall, el primo is a mechanic and he wil come by next weekend with some cervezas and they will fix la troka chingona.

  • ||

    "So why do they all park on the lawn?"

    Most Latins will park on lawns, sidewalks, the middle of the street,etc, because THEY ARE ONLY GOING TO BE A MINUTE!!!! or two or three, what's the difference, can't you just have a little bit of patience?

  • the fez||

    I don't get why people like this column so much. I mean, Arellano is a smart and glib writer, but his shtick is based on the constant denigration of white Americans. Are white people really so masochistic that they desire to be insulted as "gabachos"? Is it hip for white people to display ethnic self-loathing?

  • ||

    "Why do Mexicans make April Fools jokes on March 28th?"

    Because in Latin America EVERY day is April Fools Day.

  • ||

    jejeje. Atrevete. Que bueno esta eso!

  • ||

    In Communist Mexico, April Fool jokes you.

  • Click \'n\' Learn||

    Another lightweight post from MattW. I know that GA is a former MEChA member and apologist for that group (nclr.org/content/viewpoints/detail/42500/). I also seem to recall someone leaving a comment to the effect that he has some sort of link to the MexicanConsulate, but that's a bit difficult to locate.

    Since he didn't really say anything this time around, here's a discussion of some other of Matt Welch's "thoughts" on this issue. Someone else eviscerated them here.

  • ||

    The best places to get a burrito in San Diego: Valentines (downtown on Market and 10th?), Picantes on 30th and Upas (North Park). San Diego is known for what is called "the California Burrito" or a carne asada and french fry burrito (sometimes covered in chile sauce)--- cue Homer Simpson drool--- but the best thing about San Diego taco shops are the super cheap 5 rolled tacos specials they have all over th e place.

  • ||

    I also seem to recall someone leaving a comment to the effect that he has some sort of link to the MexicanConsulate, but that's a bit difficult to locate.

    If only that commenter had concatenated 'Mexican' and 'Consulate'. If only...

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Lone Wacko, you are really late today.....

  • ||

    Atrevete,
    you may appreciate this one:
    Our neighboors have a huge back yard and decided to to remodel it by adding a roof sustained by greek columns, new iron fence (with the spear tips) and a cement water fountain with a pissing angel. I assume they must have spent all their money and didnt have enough left for a dryer because they are still hanging their clothes out to dry in the backyard.
    Priceless :-)

  • ||

    So why do they all park on the lawn?

    Cuz there's, like, eighty of 'em in there.

  • SNL guy||

    Ya gotta get yuhself a mahble COLUMN....

  • Episiarch||

    So why do they all park on the lawn?

    Parking spots? We don't need no stinkin' parking spots.

  • lunchstealer||

    "So why do they all park on the lawn?"

    Wait, Mexicans are from South Carolina? That would explain that big monstrosity on I95.

  • NoStar||

    RE: Parking on the lawn.

    In some locales, a car repo man cannot take a car from private property without a warrant.
    Not that it really stops them, but a car on the lawn is less likely to be taken. Also, if it it parked near the house you have a better chance of hearing the repo-man breaking in to your car.

  • johnl||

    Mostly you don't get good Mexican food in SD. Try Colima just north of the train station in Oceanside.

  • ||

    Lone Wacko, you are really late today.....



    Indeed, he was. Damn gringo bloggers are lazy, man.

  • ||

    My dad used to wear jeans to the beach because he was milk white and didnt want to burn- he can only have two skin tones: burn red or pasty white- the poor guy cannot tan.

    Somehow, I don't think that's the reason Mexicans wear pants to the beach.

  • ||

    Mexicans do use short pants on the beach, or bathing shorts. Who gave you guys the idea that we do not use shorts in the beach? What I do use is blocking lotion, because I sunburn easily. I also only use pants if I do not intend to enter the water, but many gringos do the same as well...

  • Gahan||

    R C Dean,

    Some Mexicans are pasty white, maybe just not the ones you are likely to see in the states.

  • Gahan||

    I've been to the beach plenty of times here in Mexico, and most people are in shorts. Now in Spain on the other hand, fat old men are quite unabashed about walking around in hot weather without a shirt yet with slacks and dress shoes.

  • ||

    I don't know about wearing shorts to the beach, but I have heard that the reason Mexican men and others south of the border do not normally wear them is because of a perception in that culture that only homosexuals wear shorts.

  • Brandybuck||

    ... a barefoot muchacha ready to cook me dinner.



    If a white guy said that, he would be roasted alive by the rest of the press corp. But he's not a white guy so it's okay for him to be a sexist pig. It's part of Latino culture so it's acceptable.

  • ||

    I think he's being ironic, Brandybuck, making fun of stereotypes etc.

    I find the tone of his column pretty offensive, however. He refers to white Americans as "gabachos". Apparently, some white metrosexuals get off on being degraded in this way.

  • Gabacho||

    And apparently, some offenderati get off on being really thin-skinned.

  • highnumber||

    I think he's being ironic, Brandybuck, making fun of stereotypes etc.

    I find the tone of his column pretty offensive, however. He refers to white Americans as "gabachos".


    My fucking irony detector never fucking works anymore. Gottdammit.

  • ||

    Why would anyone be offended by being called a "gabacho"?

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